It was August 2017 and Donald Trump had not yet warmed up to Kim Jong-un, North Korea’s fat dictator. In fact, in a typically Trumpian way, he was mad at the Korean leader and no less typically him whipped verbally to threaten this country with a literal hell on earth. As he put it, “You will face fire and anger like the world has never seen before.” And then, just to make his point more personal, he complained about Kim himself: “He was very threatening beyond a normal state.”
Just a year and a half later, ours asteroidal President would of course say from the same man: “We fell in love.” Still, the threat from an American leader – it was obvious – to launch a nuclear strike for the first time since Hiroshima and Nagasaki in August 1945 was memorable. The phrase would, in fact, become the title of a 2018 bestselling book. Fire and Fury: At the Trump White House, by the journalist Michael Wolff. However, two years later, in the midst of so many other ominous phrases by this President, “fire and anger” was left in the trash can of history largely forgotten by the world.
“This is not an act of God”
Shame, because it seems so much more relevant now that California, Oregon and Washington, not to mention a Southwest that is already officially in a “Megadrought, ”Experienced the kind of apocalyptic fire and anger (and heat and smoke) that turned the day sky into an eerie night time orange (or yellow or even purple, claims a friend of mine who lives in the San Francisco Bay Area). We’re talking about a fire and anger that forced cars to turn on their headlights at noon. destroyed cities (Leave only armed right-wing militants in the flames expect imagined Antifa looters); burned millions of acres of land and housed hundreds of thousands of Americans Evacuation orders;; turned a staggering number of citizens into refugees in pandemic conditions; and crept up Suburbs and cities that threaten the world as we know it.
In the wake of the hottest summer On the Northern Hemisphere files, in other words, we are talking about the kind of apocalyptic states that the President undoubtedly had in mind for North Korea in 2017, but not even weakly for the US of A; We are talking about a burning season of the year like no one in the west has seen, a torch linked to the overheating of this planet as more and more greenhouse gases are being released from fossil fuels. As Washington Governor Jay Inslee recently pointed out, we should not even talk about “forest fires” but rather about “Climate burns“The intensity of which has exceeded the predictions of most climate researchers by years. (Or, as Inslee put it, “This is not an act of God. This happened because we dramatically changed the climate in Washington State.”)
Significant parts of the American West have now been turned into the natural equivalent of ovens, with fires even reaching the suburban edges of Portland, Oregon (which had been for days worst air quality from every major urban area on the planet) and promises a future where cities will undoubtedly be swept even in such conflagrations. Granted, Donald Trump did not threaten to start “fire and fury like the world has never seen” against Portland (although he did) send Federal agents there are snatching peaceful demonstrators from their streets and continuing to insult and threaten Mayor of this city). If anything, when the fires scorched these conditions to a crisp, he did his best avoid the subject of the Burning West as it has largely addressed climate change more generally during these years (that “hoax“) Like … well, a pandemic that should be ignored while America remained” open “.
Nor is it a subject he talked about much until recently when western governors started looking into it his demeanor on climate change. To give just one example, as far as I can tell, Bob Woodward, the Washington Post The President’s editor and court clerk, who had unprecedented access to Trump for months and grilled him on so many topics, never bothered to ask him about the most important, dystopian, and apocalyptic future American face. And the mainstream Democrats didn’t do much better on the subject as these fires built in a crescendo until Joe Biden finally called the president a “climate arsonist”. He aptly added, “If you give a climate arsonist four more years in the White House, why should anyone wonder if more of America is on fire?”
There is no question that, at the request of the fossil fuel industry, Donald Trump and his demonic crew have worked without hesitation or regret to ensure this becomes a fiery and angry America. Liberation of this industry from restrictions of any kind, retreat from the Paris Climate Agreement, opening even more areas for oil drilling, wipe out Environmental protection measures and even (at the moment the west burned) appointment The president and his crew have proven themselves climate science deniers of a top position in the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Pyromaniac first order.
Of course, the warming of this planet has been increasing for decades. (Don’t forget, for example, that Barack Obama led a US fracking boom where people called us “Saudi america. ”) Even so, this President and his top officials said remarkable energy (so to speak) into releasing even more carbon dioxide and methane into the atmosphere. And here’s the strange thing: you made it deep into the current apocalyptic moment in the West without …Greta Thunberg Except for the climate change protesters, who are weakly held accountable for their urge to fuel the greatest threat humanity faces other than nuclear weapons. Indeed, as the West’s Torch becomes increasingly clear, it is becoming a slow-motion version of the nuclear apocalypse that Trump once threatened to lose to North Korea.
Too literally, The Donald actually proves to be the president of the story for “fire and fury”.
And don’t think for a moment that there was no warning of the excessive burning in this country. After all, in 2019 parts of Australia were sung crispy in an unprecedented way, with at least 25 people and possibly more than killed a trillion Animals. And this country too was led by a climate change denier, a man who once did brought a piece of coal to Parliament and passed it on, while he reassuringly told other lawmakers, “Don’t be afraid, don’t be afraid.” In addition, in recent years the Arctic has been (of all things) Smoking and burning heating permafrost in unprecedented ways and releasing astounding amounts of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. Oh, and this June the temperature in a small town in Siberia crossed the 100 degree mark for the first time.
Incidentally, Russia is also led by a leader, the until recently was a climate denier. I mean, what about the urge so many of us in such a crisis to support those who are dedicated to the literal destruction of this planet as a place to live for … well, us? (Hey there, Jair Bolsonaro!)
Our very own Firenado
Almost half a century ago on another planet, I lived in San Francisco. I can still remember the fog that falls every day, even in summer in one of the coolest and airiest cities in the world. Not this year. For example, on September 6th, the temperature there dropped 100 degrees. “To squeeze”The previous record for the day. In Berkeley, across the bay, where I lived a long, long time ago, it hit 110. When a heat wave hit the state (and the west), temperatures near Los Angeles rose to a Record of 121 degrees (almost challenging overheated Baghdad, Iraq, this year) as it hits 130 degrees in the aptly named Death Valley – and that’s just to make a list of soaring temperatures in the west, from the Canadian border to the Mexican border.
When these fires filled the sky with smoke and ashes and turned the day into the scariest night, a Cloud of smoke such as had never been seen before appeared over the west coast. Meanwhile, Firenados were discovered and the air filled with ash threatened terrible things to health. As I have been for the past 46 years, I am thousands of miles from my old meeting places in the Bay Area. Still, I check in regularly with friends and TomDispatch Authors on this coast, some like me, aged and locked in their homes so that smoke and ashes, the air of Hell, would not bring them in. In the meantime, their cars are packed and their evacuation checklists ready.
My heart goes out to her and really to all of us (and especially to those to whom we old ones will leave such a blazing, turbulent world).
Unfortunately, among the endless scandals and horrors of the Trump era, by far the greatest scandal has scandalized for too long those officially significant on our beleaguered planet. Even in 2016, it should have been obvious enough that a vote for Donald Trump was a vote for the apocalypse. But give him credit. He made no secret of it or that his presidency would be a fossil fuel nightmare. Even then it was clear that he, not climate change, was the “joke” and that this planet would suffer in a unique way from his (ad) services.
And in every possible way, Donald Trump delivered as promised. He was uniquely fiery and angry. In his own way he was also a man of his word. He’s brought “fire and anger” to this land in so many ways and if he has anything to say about it, he’s just getting started.
Do not doubt for a second that if he loses on November 3rd (or beyond, given the upcoming mail-in vote), he will declare electoral fraud and refuse to leave the White House. Do not doubt for a second that he would like to set this building on fire and whatever remains of the American system at that point before he saw himself “lost”.
Being a parody of everything in his own way: a politician, a Republican, an autocrat, even a human, he summarizes in an extreme (if eerily satirical) way human efforts to destroy our way of life in these years. In truth, it is fiery and angry, a historical cloud of smoke and ash over us all.
To use his 2017 nuclear words, he is inherently threatening “beyond a normal state”. Think of him as the president from Hell and by this I mean literal hell. Four more years from him, his crew and the Fossil fuel criminals Running the great oil, gas, and coal companies that ride their coattails into profit heaven and planetary misery is the casting of a play, both comedy and tragedy, that neither of us should get through. He’s our own Firenado and – it’s not complicated – four more years of his will bring us to a hell on earth that is only faintly imaginable today.